The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review

The eight stories in this thought-provoking collection of traditional Jewish tales combine folklore and scripture, and are retold for children using simple, clear language. Gathered from a range of eras and locations, the emphasis of each story is on kindness, compassion and trust in God. Elijah’s Wisdom teaches us not to be judgemental; Challah in the Ark is a moving tale about caring for others; while Heaven and Hell demonstrates the importance of sharing.

A brief explanation of the origins of each tale can be found at the end of the book, along with suggestions for further reading. There is also an interesting section on Jewish signs and symbols, with definitions of words such as Rabbi and Sabbath, as well as information about the symbolic significance of objects in Judaism, such as the dove or rose.

The text is interspersed with gentle illustrations rendered in watercolour ink, chalk pastel and coloured pencil, which bring the stories to life. Ideal for use at home, school or as part of religious teaching, younger children will love listening to the tales, while older children will enjoy reading them independently.

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